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Viewsonic Computer Monitors - The VG2230wm: The Value King among ViewSonic Computer Monitors

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ViewSonic manufactures some of the most popular monitors on the market. This was true when CRT reigned supreme, and has continued to be true since LCD stole the crown. The reason for their success is simple but not easily achieved. They offer quality and durability at an aggressive price. A great example of this is one of the hottest online sellers among all ViewSonic computer monitors, the ViewSonic Graphic Series VG2230wm 22-inch LCD monitor. In this review, we are going to examine what, in addition to its price, has made this $200 monitor so popular for more than three years.

Like most ViewSonic computer monitors, the first thing that stands out to you about the VG2230wm is its looks. When it comes to affordable monitors, aesthetics is normally one of the first aspects sacrificed, but ViewSonic has designed a monitor here that looks great either in your home or in your office. The bezel, which they accent with silver edging, demands your attention, and manages to include the speakers and buttons without detracting from the framing of the screen. The speakers are equally impressive. While they are not enough to satisfy the audiophile or hardcore gamer, they offer more juice than is usual at this price point.

In the back, we have VGA and DVI-D connectors. ViewSonic has dropped the price as much as $100 since they introduced the VG2230wm. One reason for this is the lack of an HDMI port, even though this isn’t really a gamer’s monitor due to its 5ms response time. It has understandably gotten to the point where HDMI is expected on any monitor over $200. Another reason for the price drop is that there is no HDCP compliance on the DVI socket. This could prove problematic if you plan to watch Blu-Ray or HD DVD on your PC. If neither of these shortcomings affects you, then this is a lot of monitor for the price.

The stand is one area of this monitor where the value is most evident. Most economy monitors, even the ViewSonic computer monitors, tend to cut costs by reducing the material and the quality of the stand. The VG2230wm, on the other hand, is very solid, enough that it will hold its ground well even on shaky surface. We were also surprised to find built-in ties for behind-the-monitor cable management and height adjustment. In addition to the height adjustment, it has full tilt and 360-degree swivel. All of these factors are convenient for anyone, but particularly convenient for those of you considering a multi-monitor setup.

Once we had the monitors out of the box and set up as we wanted them, it was time to play with the controls and fine-tune the picture. As we expect from ViewSonic computer monitors, the picture was “good enough” straight out of the box, but you’ll really want to adjust it to the particular needs of the environment in which you’ll be viewing it. Our only complaint is that there is no software interface to the controls. Other than that, the controls are full-featured, sturdy, and easy to access. We’d suggest using some LCD screen tuning software, and you should be able to have a perfect picture in less than 15 minutes.

The brightness on this screen is just fabulous, and we were extremely impressed over the next hour as we viewed various Word and Excel documents and surfed the web. Text was crisp and clear, and there was absolutely no sensation of eyestrain or headaches. However, now it was time to put this monitor through its paces so we popped a copy of Avatar into the drive. There was no edge bleed, and the image quality was stunning. We did notice some unnatural lightening of dark scenes due to the brightness, and while we could bring it down a notch, it hurt the overall experience. As you’d expect, this won’t serve as the centerpiece of your living room, but it is just fine for watching that DVD on the desktop.

Our last tests were the gaming tests, and while we expected decent performance, we got more than that. The 5ms versus 2ms debate is a polarizing one, and we’re not going to tell you that you won’t notice the difference. What we will tell you is that we don’t notice the difference, and that we could not justify paying an additional $100-200 for one of the upper tier ViewSonic computer monitors just to get a 2ms response time on the screen.

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